Sales and Business Development are often thought of as the same thing, the end goal is essentially the same, but the process and time scales are different. Generally in sales, you build a sales team and scale the team up. Sales are transactional as opposed to strategic as your product or service doesn’t tend to change. You sell, sell more, then renew your product and upsell in the future to generate more revenue.
With Business Development, you don’t need a large team. It is a long process as you have to build strategic partnerships which creates a relationship for your client to recommend you to their audience also. These relationships are long-lasting, and you are in a position to provide more value to existing customers. Business Development can exist at the same time as the Sales team as it can help the team sell more.
Alongside Sales and Business Development, you can use marketing to generate inbound leads with content creation and distribution. This can be done through articles, videos, imagery and more. The marketing team can then pass the inbound leads to the sales team or Business Development team to close the deal.
4 Types of Business Development
- Partnerships that improve the end product.
- Increase value to existing customers.
- Attracts new customers.
Distribution Business Development:
- Gain new customers by getting exposure to other companies’ audience or client base.
- Provide more value to your customers as well as another persons’ company.
Brand Enhancing Business Development
- Partnerships that improve the brand image for all parties involved.
- Where two companies with similar ideal customers develop a relationship where one company introduces the other product or service to their audience.
- Affiliate programs or revenue share.
You can use the feedback loop to constantly improve how you define your market and create stronger offers to achieve more desirable results, using less time and effort.
It will help to provide clarity on who you will help and how you will help them. You have to strategically position yourself to succeed, and so, by using the feedback loop, you can iterate and improve infinitely.
Your market is an ideal group of people you would sell your product or service to. This could be business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C). Your target audience will be experiencing a common problem which you can solve by identifying a clear solution to that problem.
The offer is your solution to that problem. The outcome is the promised end result that comes once your market buys into your offer. Your offer must solve the market’s problems. Ideally, it will achieve great results with low effort and can easily be repeatable.
There are three main steps to sales and business development.
|Business Development and Sales strategy||Outbound lead generations with cold emails||From your first meeting to closing the deal|
Having these methods in place, allows startups to grow through direct sales, business development and marketing.
Sales Strengths and Weaknesses
- Faster sales cycle, you do not need to change or customise your product/service. You are selling the same thing.
- Generate revenue quickly.
- No need to rely on third parties.
- Very practical if you are figuring out where your product fits into your market.
- Simple and straightforward (that is not to say it is easy).
- Can create a scalable and predictable sales mechanism.
- Have to hire more salespeople to scale, in order to generate revenue.
- Have to prospect in higher volumes.
- Have to build an internal sales team with your own resources.
- ‘Fixed’ products that don’t change can make it harder to sell.
- More ‘work’ means more manpower.
Business Development Strengths and Weaknesses
- Scale business without hiring a large sales team. The relationships you build opens up other people to sell for you.
- ‘Less work’ means less manpower (that is not to say it is easy).
- Reach new audiences by tapping into other people’s audiences.
- Easily leverage brands of business partners you work with.
- More strategic work as opposed to a repetitive sales cycle.
- Longer sales cycles.
- Need internal resources to afford to focus on long-term revenue.
- Reliant to the success of business partners.
- Takes a lot of time to scale.
- Only practical if you already know where your product fits into the market.
If you are the founder of a company, you must learn how to sell your product or service before you hire anyone else to sell for you. When you do hire sales representatives or account managers, try to hire two at a time so that they can go on to train two more each etc. It is a more time-efficient way of working and training a team you need to scale. When you are scaling, try to separate lead generation from the sales cycle. If you are just starting out, you need to focus heavily on lead generation.
|Lead Generation||Sales Cycle||
|Sales / Business Development Representatives||Account Executive Business Development Manager Strategic Partnerships Channel Partnerships||Account Manager Customer Success Representative|
|Goal: Send cold emails to generate leads||Goal: Build business relationships and close deals||Goal: Continue relationships with customers|
Defining Your Goals
Ahead of working on your sales process, it is vital to figure out your goals. Before defining your goals, you must think about what your goals are focused on. It is much more important to focus on behavioural goals as opposed to financial ones. By focussing on behaviours you can control, the results will come as long as you are committed to your goals.
To define your goals, you need to be specific. What do you want to achieve? Make them measurable. How much do you need to achieve? Are they attainable? How realistic are your goals? Is your goal relevant? Why does it matter to you? Make sure your goals are time-bound, when will you accomplish them? Consider sharing your goal with someone you trust to gain some perspective.
Once you have defined a clear set of goals, go about setting up your sales cycle!